Palmerston Road has been Southsea’s main shopping street since its Victorian development as a seaside suburb of Portsmouth. Thomas Ellis Owen was responsible for much of the planning and design of 19th-century Southsea. He is commemorated by Owens public house, originally named The Palmerston. Viscount (Lord) Palmerston served more than nine years as Prime Minister and died in office, in 1865, aged 80. He also had a series of forts built to protect Portsmouth harbour and its dockyard. However, the threat of invasion receded and the forts became known as ‘Palmerston’s Folly’.